O’FALLON — A St. Clair County associate judge who says a congressional candidate pushed her during a parade wants a public apology and an investigation.
Associate Judge Laninya Cason, a Republican running for circuit judge, conducted a news conference Monday.
She said Democrat Bill Enyart pushed her aside as she was talking with someone on the parade route Saturday in O’Fallon.
The Enyart campaign on Saturday said Enyart bumped into a Plummer supporter and immediately apologized. Campaign spokesman Jason Bresler reiterated that position Monday.
Said Cason, “I have been bullied and pushed around by the St. Clair Democrat machine before — but it’s never gotten physical. Enyart took it too far.”
Cason on Monday also told a conservative radio show host and audience in St. Louis that if Enyart makes a “proper” apology, she is willing to drop efforts to have him charged.
Bresler said Cason was making political fodder from nothing.
“Bill has already apologized. That’s the point,” Bresler said. “This is just silly season politics, ugly politics, that Southern Illinoisans are sick of.”
Cason said Enyart did not apologize.
Each side said it has witnesses to support its position.
O’Fallon police said Cason has filed a report, an investigation is under way and results will be sent to the St. Clair County state’s attorney.
Enyart is one of three candidates seeking the 12th District Congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring.
Enyart, 62, is an attorney from Belleville and retired major general who commanded the Illinois National Guard.
Green Party nominee Paula Bradshaw, 59, of Carbondale is an emergency room nurse and political activist.
Republican Jason Plummer, 30, of O’Fallon is a businessman, former candidate for lieutenant governor and an officer in the Navy Reserve.
Cason is seeking circuit judgeship. She faces Associate Judge Zina Cruse, a Democrat. Cason has been a Democrat but left the party after not receiving its nomination.
Plummer’s campaign declined comment Monday.
Bradshaw said she would withhold comment because she had no way of knowing what happened.
— Contributing to this report were Mark Fitton of The Southern Illinoisan and George Pawlaczyk of the Belleville News-Democrat.